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HARMONY HILL, TX

HARMONY HILL, TEXAS. Harmony Hill is fifteen miles northeast of Henderson and three miles southwest of Tatum in northeastern Rusk County. It was laid out in the 1840s on land donated by John W. Kuykendall, a prosperous plantation owner who had land in the D. Martin headright. Reportedly the community was originally nicknamed Nip 'n' Tuck, after an incident in which two foxhounds chased a fox down the main street. It is said that the harmonious community relations of the early settlers likely gave rise to the official name in 1856. The town, in an area of fertile red farmland, was a prosperous farming and commercial center situated near Trammell's Traceqv, the Grand Bluff Road, and the old Wire Road. A post office was established there in 1854 with William M. Johnston as postmaster; it closed in 1867. It reopened in 1868 and closed in 1905, when mail was sent to Tatum. The first church in the community, a one-room log structure, was built by the Primitive Baptists. Matt Chamness, the first merchant in the town, was followed by a druggist, a blacksmith, doctors, and a school. By 1860 Harmony Hill had eight to ten stores, a furniture factory, a Masonic lodge, and a racetrack. But during the 1870s and 1880s the town declined because it was bypassed by the railroads, which were built instead to Henderson and Tatum. In 1906 many of Harmony Hill's buildings were destroyed by a tornado. By 1950 only a few homes and a cemetery remained in the area. The 1984 county highway map showed a church and a business at Harmony Hill.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Rusk County History (Henderson, Texas: Rusk County Historical Commission, 1982). Dorman H. Winfrey, A History of Rusk County (Waco: Texian, 1961).

Megan Biesele

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Megan Biesele, "HARMONY HILL, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvh21), accessed September 16, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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